R. Muttusamy

5 Jan 1926
27 Jun 1988
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Ramaya Muttusamy (January 5, 1926 – June 27, 1988) was a prolific Sri Lankan music director and singer. He handled the music for most of K. Gunaratnam’s productions.

Muttusamy was born on January 5, 1926, in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India the only son of virtuoso Malayali musician Ramaya Baghwather. At a young age, Muttusamy was introduced to the violin and mastered the instrument by the age of ten.

Muttusamy worked as the Assistant Music Director on the first Sinhalese film Kadawunu Poronduwa in 1941 under the tutelage of R. Narayana Iyer. He subsequently travelled to Sri Lanka and found work there as a member of the state-run Radio Ceylon’s Tamil Orchestra (October 20, 1952) and then with the Sundera Murugan Studio in Kandana built by producer Nayagam (1953).

Enlisted by successful producer K. Gunaratnam, Muttusamy handled his first lead music direction for the 1953 Sinhalese film Prema Tharangaya. In the film he directed the Sinhalese playback singers Dharmadasa and Latha Walpola on what would be their debut as well. Subsequently he oversaw the direction for over 225 films including Ahankara Sthree (1953), Mathalang (1955), Sandesaya (1961), Allapu Gedera and Chandiya (1965) working with playback singers like the Walpolas, Mohideen Baig, J. A. Milton Perera, H. R. Jothipala, Angeline Gunatillake, Sujatha Attanayake, G. S. B. Rani Perera and Narada Disasekara.

Muttusamy was awarded an honorary Sri Lankan citizenship in June 1956 by prime minister Sir John Kotelawala. He rejoined Radio Ceylon in 1958 and served with the organization until 1981.

Muttusamy married the Sinhalese B. D. E. Neeliya Perera on October 7, 1961, and had four children, Mohanraj, Chitrangi, Prasanna Vadhani and Keerthika. Mohanraj would follow in his father’s footsteps pursuing a career in music. Muttusamy died on June 27, 1988.

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